Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The one where she throws up her hands in despair ... about her hair.

OK, so it has taken me a month, but here I am, back to tell you about products I've used up, and give them short reviews, at least so far as I mention whether I'd buy them again, and why or why not.

The problem is, today's subject is shampoo and conditioner. And honestly, at this point, I could wash my hair in Woolite and it wouldn't matter.

For years, my number one concern was preserving my expensive (and I think, very attractive) salon color, with the highlights and lowlights and such. And I was going in for a root touch up almost every three weeks, which meant that I was getting a salon shampoo, conditioning treatment, and blowout very frequently. So I would buy the products they used, because why spend less??? When you're already dropping so much money on the color, are you really going to go home and wash it with Suave?

So I bought the color preserving shampoos from  Kerastase, Living Proof, and Oribe. Sometimes in a normal store I'd buy one from Frederic Fekkai.

They were all good, I guess.

But now I am taking advantage of the pandemic to grow out my color. So I don't really feel any reason to preserve all the artful tortoise-shell-colored stuff that also (I feel the need to mention) hasn't been cut SINCE SEPTEMBER.

Here is a quick refresher:

I last had my hair colored on March 17, 2020.

Here it is in May



June



July



Ok, I messed around with images a little, and now I think I look a little greener than I do in real life.

But here we are, heading towards August, and my social calendar is still pretty empty. I'm in it for the long haul, although you'll probably be glad to hear that I'm thinking of having some baby highlights in a nice gray/ash tone done, to break up the demarcation.

Meanwhile, it's so long--honestly, it hasn't been this long since I was in college--that I wear it up or in a ponytail every day.

So ... the products I've used up?

Living Proof Conditioner 8 oz./$28.00



Oribe Masque for Beautiful Color 5.9 oz./$63.00



Ouai Thick Hair shampoo and conditioner (not shown) both at 10 oz./$28.00



Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Super Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask 8 oz./$36.00





were all perfectly adequate ... although the masks (or, in the case of the Oribe, masque) were better than the Living Proof conditioner at turning straw into gold.

As for preserving color ... if I didn't think I'd end up looking like one of MacBeth's three witches, I'd go at my hair with dishwashing liquid in the hopes of stripping at least some of the color.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

The one where she crawls out of the trash

Hello internet, how time flies. Or does it? Part of me thinks it's still March.

At any rate, I thought I'd do a review of the products I used up in April and May. There were kind of a lot of them, and not surprisingly, none of them were makeup, which apparently has the half-life of plutonium. But since I apparently majored in Good Grooming in college, there is all kinds of bath and body stuff.


Kiehl's Body Fuel (33.8 oz) $54

I bought this at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale a couple of years ago ... I don't really remember why, except that Emily Noel, a YouTube beauty guru, mentioned that she was buying it for her husband. I thought it was hilarious that this stuff contains caffeine. Does Kiehl's really think that I'll believe that adding caffeine to our showers will help wake us up more? Or do much of anything at all?

It smells kind of manly, but not full-on charging musk ox. Still, I wouldn't bother to repurchase. It turns out my husband is more of a soap fan. And I guess I am, too.


Kikusamane Skincare Emulsion (380 ml) $16.65

This sake-based Japanese moisture lotion was recommended by my invisible internet friend Diane Hardin. I originally bought it for my face, but since it is extremely cheap, and I was getting to the bottom of the bottle, decided to start using it on my body. It is extremely light in texture, but moisturizing. It has lots of humectants and the fermented rice extract is supposed to be great for soothing the skin. And there are ceramides, cholesterol, and amino acids, all of which replenish the skin. On the down side, it smells like bubble gum, but if you can live with the smell, it's a great cheap moisturizer for the face and body.

Bath and Body Works Beach Nights and Waikiki Beach Coconut (8 oz) $13.50

Bath and Body Works lotions are basically creamy cologne. They are incredibly strongly scented, and their moisturizing power is limited. The label mentions that they contain shea butter and Vitamin E, but these ingredients appear waaaaay down the list ... after fragrance. It's not that these are terrible lotions; they do contain solid moisturizing ingredients--it's just that they are the cheapest ingredients available (water, glycerine, petrolatum, dimethicone.) Feel free to use and enjoy these lotions, if, like me, you like to smell like a Pina colada or a toasted marshmallow--but use them for their fragrance, and not for their superior moisturizing properties.

And never pay retail. There is always a sale of some kind at BBW.

Estee Lauder Luxe Body Creme (6.7 oz) [Discontinued] $49.50

I snapped up some of this stuff when one of my favorite YouTubers, Dustin Hunter, mentioned that it smelled amazing and was unfortunately being discontinued. It was half price, so I felt it was worth the risk. Sadly, it does smell amazing, and it's a great hand and body creme. Estee Lauder designed it to complement their fragrances, and although I only wear one EL fragrance, (Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia) I find that it works with every fragrance I wear, since it is rose-based, and so are many perfumes.

Why doesn't every cosmetics company come out with something like this? It's sooo good!

Monday, June 01, 2020

The answer is "100 days of yoga."

In these parlous times, I could be rejoicing in having become firmer and more flexible. I could be delighted that heaving my not inconsiderable bulk out of my big, deep, straight-out-of-the-eighties bathtub has become a lot easier. But honestly, if you asked me:

1. How do you stay calm during a pandemic?

2. How do you deal with week after week of lockdown?

3. How do you manage to not kill your working-from-home spouse?

4. How has your daughter survived almost-but-not-quite flunking out of her second college?

5. How do you manage to smile and stay relatively cheerful while your gray roots become increasingly obvious?

6. What do you do to lessen the anxiety of knowing that friends are uncomfortably close to the fires and looting currently occurring every night in Chicago?

The answer in every case is daily yoga practice. Not only does doing yoga every day lower my blood pressure and cortisol levels, it increases my ability to absorb bullshit, like having my family so omnipresent that I have to closet myself in my dressing room with three doors closed between Them and me to mutter imprecations about them under my breath.

What has the world come to when you can't call up your girlfriends and talk shit about your husband and/or children?

Another cheering thing?

These lovely and patriotic Crocs™.



Which I have actually worn outside of the house. And not just to take out the recycling.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The one where she turns into Bette Midler in Ruthless People

It's not exactly a huge surprise that if I can dust off my blog, I can find other ways for my laptop to keep me out of the laundry room trouble. And of course, I have. Not only am I spending way too much time following Chinese cooking vlogs on YouTube, I'm doing virtual exercise classes via FaceTime and Zoom.



FaceTime is self-explanatory, since I believe everyone other than my 97 year old mother has experienced it. But for the two or three of you who haven't experienced Zoom workouts, allow me to list their advantages:

1. You can literally roll out of bed and head to your exercise class. I'm taking part in Yoga, cardio, and stretch-and-tone classes from the doughty Woman's Athletic Club of Chicago, which is a 45 minute drive from my house. There is no way in hell I'd bother to all the way there and pay for parking to take a yoga class, but with Zoom, I'm in.

2. Also, there's no pressure to look good. Gray roots? Who can see them? Crappy workout clothes? The pressure's off to wear the latest and greatest. You can even use a virtual backdrop so that people can't see the hot mess behind you. Here I am in a convenient arm chair in my bedroom:


and here I am, happily ensconced in a toile-a-rama 18th century bedroom in Dumbarton House, in Washington, D.C.:


3. You can even turn off your video and just watch the instructor, making it feel like a personal training session.

If only I actually owned a copy of Ruthless People, I could just work out with Bette.


Meanwhile, I had a Zoom Pilates class this morning, and I'm about to do a Yoga with Adriene YouTube workout.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Don't eat bananas directly, add 3 eggs, no frying and no water, it's more fragrant than meat!

You might be wondering about my title. Well, I've fallen down into the rabbit hole of YouTube suggestions, because the algorithm affords me with endless entertainment.

For example, this Chinese cooking channel. The translations of the titles are priceless.




Then there's Chris Fleming's latest music video, Boba Tea Manifesto:





I also get directed to a lot of videos about how to grow out dyed hair and embrace your silver!!!

The short answer to that is WAIT. LONG. ENOUGH. AND. IT. WILL. HAPPEN.

Which I'm giving serious consideration to. I mean, first of all, it gives me something to do while actually doing nothing, like the lady in the old television commercial who was cleaning her bathroom bowl Actually, she was resting quietly on a chaise longue reading scandalous French novels and dipping languidly into a box of expensive chocolates. The giant blue Alka-Seltzer she dropped into the toilet tank was doing the cleaning.

And that's pretty much how I plan to transform myself into a silver fox. I will do nothing, and in two years I will look like this:



or maybe this:



Only time will tell.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The one where she lists her current Corona projects (and uses the term dumbbell literally)

1. Roomba-ing. Due to the sale of the second home, the Buxom household is equipped with two Roombas. Because they remind me of my son's late, lamented turtle, Toby, we named them Toby II and Toby III. Right now Toby II is bumping around the kitchen and dining room, while Toby III wanders freely around the second floor. Freely, except for the heating grates in the floor, which I block with wastebaskets and/or dumbbells so the little wheels don't get stuck.

2. Falling over the dumbbells and (it is hoped) NOT breaking a toe in my left foot, because that would be the third broken toe since we moved into this house, and HONESTLY, that's a bit excessive.

3. Polishing my nails in two-young-for-me colors--apparently to coordinate with my yoga mat. (If you look closely, you'll see the glitter top coat I added on the third day.)


OPI A Grape Fit! topped with Finger Paints Dance Floor Diva


4. Developing what will no doubt be a coordinating bruise on my left shoulder where I banged into the door frame, after falling over the dumbbells.

5. Renaming one of the Roombas "D'oh!-by."


Friday, May 15, 2020

The one where she reveals the white elephant in the room

March 17, 2020, was the last normal day I enjoyed. I voted in the Democratic primary. And I had my hair colored. Root touch-up, highlights, lowlights, the whole nine yards.

They were closing the salon as I left, and it's still closed.

I part my hair on the side, because center parts aren't a good look on horse-faced Episcopalians. But if I did part my hair in the middle, this is what you'd see.


That, my friends, is an impressive skunk stripe. And it's only going to get wider.